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Art and poetry are two windows for creativity in the work of the artist Munif Kanouzi

The breathtaking beauty of the environment in which  artist Munif Kanouzi grew up was a source of inspiration that affected his psyche and artistic talent and he was able to show his creativity in the fields of painting and poetry and presented distinctive artworks with the brush of the artist and the language and feelings of the poet.


Talking about his beginnings and his artistic and poetic tendencies, the artist said, "I grew up in a beautiful town with stunning views in an old country house in the middle of the village. I used to carry my papers and pen and watch the movement of the street vendors who were arriving to the village carrying their goods on various means of transportation like horses and camels and I used to draw what I saw in front of me in terms of landscapes and movement of people".

"My parents also had a distinct artistic sense that emerged through their handicrafts as my father used to work in  making  baskets that was common at the time, and my mother used to make "trays and vases" made of colored wheat spikes and manufactured  from the available and popular materials at that time", he added.

"In elementary school, my teachers noticed my talent in drawing.They used to ask me to draw maps and drawings on the blackboard.The expressions of praise, and encouragement that I received had an important role in refining and developing my talent. The love of drawing has been my passion since childhood. It is my inner world that I resort and relax. I continued to paint all the beautiful landscapes that I saw, and with the passage of days, my artistic experience expanded and deepened so that I had a great experience in the use of colors , how they mix and harmonize, as well as in drawing characters and various themes".

Kanouzi went on to say, "after I passed my baccalaureate, I studied at the Institute of Teacher Education in Damascus, where I was acquainted with colors in general and all the specializations related to this subject, such as engineering drawing, decoration, advertising, designing logos, brands, painting and sculpture. I was lucky to meet senior artists such as Mumtaz Al-Bahra, Nazem Jafari, Tayseer Habas and Mamdouh Qashlan."

Regarding the topics and ideas he deals with in his art, he said, “I worked in many specializations, including advertising and held an exhibition on the Palestinian uprising in 1992 at the People's Hall in Homs under the title "The Intifada Entering Its Fifth Year".

I designed some logos for the Syrian Arab TV and the Syrian Satellite TV. I also have wooden, leather, and decorative works with various materials. I drew paintings with oil, charcoal, pencil, pastel and watercolor, and I succeeded in drawing portraits, where I drew more than 650 characters. My work is dominated by pure realistic art, and all of my subjects are exclusively based on lived reality.

About the association of painting with poetry, he said, "there is a very strong link between painting and poetry, they are brothers, and this is how I see them. Since childhood, I have tried to write poetry and I was inclined to   Zajali and spoken poetry. My serious beginnings in writing poetry were in 1992 when I wrote many poems for different occasions. I published my first collection, entitled "Our Village", in 2000 and the second entitled" Our Valley and My Village" in 2010.

Regarding his individual artistic exhibitions, he said, "I held two solo exhibitions, the first was in 1978 and the second in 1984. I also held an exhibition at the Cultural Center in Damascus in Abu Rummaneh in 1998 and another in the Russian Center in 1979 in addition to two other exhibitions, the first was in the Al-Khanji Gallery in Aleppo in 1998 and the other in the People's Hall in Homs 1992. 

On the importance of talent and academic study for the artist he said, "Without talent, it is impossible to talk about any possibility in drawing at all, and here comes the importance of studying and acquiring the basic and necessary information to refine and develop this talent to reach the hoped-for goal.

Referring to the most important artists who influenced his career, Kanouzi explained, "I was influenced by the style of the artist Mumtaz Al-Bahra in terms of characters and lines, and by artist Nazem Jafari in terms of themes and colors".

It is noteworthy that the artist Munif Kanouzi was born in 1950 and he is a graduate of the Institute of Teacher Education.

Amal Farhat